Wreck: Supplement scandal on Biggest Loser

Emma Soviero

Obesity is a pressing epidemic in the U.S., and it is commendable when media outlets take a stand to combat these issues. NBC’s show The Biggest Loser has been doing that since 2004, and one of the show’s biggest stars Jillian Michaels has spent that time acting as a role model for health.

Michaels, the official trainer on the renowned show, is someone who clearly works hard for her body and to help others who want to reach their own weight loss goals, however this past week the ethics of her training methods came under fire.

During the episode on Tuesday, Nov. 12 of this season, Alison Sweeney revealed something no one expected; Michaels broke the rules and gave her contestants caffeine supplements. For a trainer who always seemed to do what she was supposed to in order to help others, this setback came as a big blow to the respect that many viewers held for Michaels.

Maybe she wanted to benefit the contestants, but giving them this type of supplement to aid their weight loss without the doctor’s approval is against the show’s official rules, as well being morally questionable.

Many sources such as the UPI blog claim that the scandal is a network ploy for higher ratings. Regardless of the backstory, this is obviously an unacceptable occurrence, and reflects poorly on the competition as a whole.

This show is all about striving to get past internal conflicts and working your hardest to reach personal goals. Bringing in outside assistance or substances to accelerate weight loss is not the same as doing the work on their own, and the end result will not be as rewarding.